Dáil debates

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

10:30 am

Photo of Enda KennyEnda Kenny (Taoiseach, Department of An Taoiseach; Mayo, Fine Gael)

Tá ionadh ar an Teachta go bhfuil sé anseo mar Theachta Dála do Chontae Lú. Ná bíodh ionadh air faoi rud ar bith a tharlaíonn ó thaobh cúrsaí polaitíochta de. Níl an Rialtas ag comhlíonadh phleananna an Rialtais roimhe seo.

The situation in Limerick is a matter of concern to everybody. Every Deputy in this House, some of whom have been elected for the first time in the last general election, will experience crises arising of one sort or another in his or her local hospital which is always a cause of great strain and anxiety both for the staff working at the front line and for the patients and their families. The Minister for Health received this morning the report from the special delivery unit which is examining the admissions policy in every hospital. I am concerned about stoppages in any hospital, including in Limerick. This morning there are six patients on trolleys in Limerick and a further 41 in an overflow ward where they are not on trolleys but are awaiting admission. This is indeed indicative of a serious situation and it must be dealt with. Unless one knows the nature and scale of the problem, it is impossible to deal with it. This is the reason the special delivery unit, which was set up by the Minister, has reported to him this morning on the Limerick case.

I understand HSE officials put proposals to the trade unions at quite lengthy talks last night in the LRC but these were not acceptable to the unions and those talks will continue. This will not sort out the problem and neither will work stoppages by the nursing staff resulting from their concerns and anxieties. This situation must be discussed and a plan implemented to rectify it. This is the reason the special delivery unit has reported on the Limerick situation to the Minister for Health.

Deputy Adams referred to the hospital in his constituency and to which we referred yesterday and he also mentioned the situation in Galway. On Saturday morning at 8 a.m., 32 patients were awaiting admission in the accident and emergency department. This number was reduced to 14 in the late afternoon-----

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